2021 January Recap and February Outlook for the UFC:
We made it through a crazy year and unlike most sports, MMA was able to adapt to the global pandemic. The UFC made the critical decision to remain operating, Including launching Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.. Other MMA organization like One Championship and Bellator also made the necessary changes in order to operate. However, the main change of 2020 was the disappearance of fans for majority of the year. With empty seating and hollow arenas. The need for exciting MMA entertainment was high, and many organization delivered. Below is a break down of the UFC’s 2020 statistics, January highlights, and upcoming fights this February fan look forward to seeing.
In 2020, the UFC had 456 fights with 139 KOs and 82 submissions. With 123 UFC debuts and 15 Title defenses. The year saw many impressive moments like the fastest KO by Khamzat Chimaev, who floored Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds with a right cross at UFC Vegas 11. Another major highlight was the KO of the year by Joaquin Buckley, who delivered one of the most unbelievable knockouts in UFC history when he threw a flying spinning back kick to the face of Impa Kasanganay. But the overall best moments were title defenses. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, Israel Adensanya vs. Paulo Costa, Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno, and Zhang Weili vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk were some of the most viewed fights of the year and significant moments in the sport. Although the sport lost major figures like Khabib Nurmagomedov due to retirement, fans were satisfied with a great year.
As 2020 transitioned to 2021. The UFC had two major fights to look forward to in January 2021. The first fight was Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar. This fight was huge deal because it was the first time the UFC aired on ABC Network. This partnership allowed 1.6 million viewers to watch the fight. The highest volume of viewers the UFC had in over a year. The fight took place January 16th at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. and was one of the most one sided fights in the sports history. Holloway, the former UFC Featherweight Champion and hailed as an exceptional striker was favored to win the fight. From the beginning of the fight, Holloway showed that he was one of the best strikers in the UFC. In total Holloway broke 8 UFC records including the number of strikes landed in a fight. Holloway had 445 strikes landed on…